books

Commentary
5:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Book Review: Antonia Lively Breaks The Silence

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson is set in a sleepy university town a couple hours outside of New York City. The novel has a familiar cast of characters: an author, a book critic and the women who loved them.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Book Review: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

I have a difficult time with books that require the reader to suspend disbelief. In fact, I avoid them. But not if the author is Andrew Sean Greer.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Book Review: Fin & Lady

Cathleen Schine's journey to becoming an author included brief stints in medieval history and shoe buying at Bloomingdale's. Not a likely trajectory toward a profession as a novelist, especially since she turned to writing as a fall-back career.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Book Review: The Other Typist

Set in New York City in the 1920s, The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is told from the viewpoint of Rose Baker, an unremarkable woman raised in an orphanage by nuns.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Book Review: Life After Life

As we live our lives, we're presented with seemingly minute decisions to make every day. Each decision takes us on a specific path. Some prove to be wise. Others have us wishing for a mulligan.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Book Review: Life Among Giants

In terms of setting and mood, Bill Roorbach’s novel Life Among Giants contains no shortage of creative derring-do. It largely takes place in the 1970s, when the Miami Dolphins ruled the National Football League. In fact, the narrator of the novel, David “Lizard” Hochmeyer, spends time in a Dolphins uniform as a backup quarterback to Bob Griese.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Book Review: May We Be Forgiven

I chose this book for its cover. Gelatinous cranberry sauce, still holding its can-shaped form on a white plate. It screamed Thanksgiving.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Book Review: The Art Forger

On March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as police officers stole 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mass. Among the stolen were works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas and Manet. Unsolved to this day, the heist provides the perfect backdrop for The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Book Review: The News From Spain

While you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the illustration on the cover of the The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham is somewhat telling of what's inside. A single red ribbon on a black background ties each of the stories together through theme and repeated phrases. The ribbon flows with no bows or knots, bleeding off the page. Similar in design, these stories are not wrapped in tidy packages. Sometimes they begin with no introduction and end abruptly, leaving the reader to speculate about what will happen next.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Book Review: Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon is set in Northern California, where Berkeley and Oakland meet. It’s 2004, and business partners Archy and Nat have just learned that a former NFL quarterback plans to open a music superstore in their shared hometown, placing their used record store in jeopardy. Midwife-partner wives, philandering husbands, and never-before-mentioned children add to the drama.

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